It's time for another edition of the books that followed me home! I have to say this month is a vibrant pile of books I hope I read someday.
These books fit pretty nicely into distinct categories. And all of them have ties to reading communities in the state of South Carolina!
Category #1 - The SC Book Festival
I went to the SC Book Festival this month, and prior to that had finally read Serena by Ron Rash. I bought another book of his so I could stand in line for him to sign it (The Cove) and tracked another book down through Paperbackswap (Saints at the River).
Category #2 - International Book Club of the Upstate
I have this wonderful book club; I'm sure I've mentioned it. In May we had our annual potluck dinner at one of the member's houses, where we swap books we no longer want and discuss potential books for the next year. Our list had over 60, so it was a long night! I picked up Lie Down in Darkness and We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families through the swap, and ended up finding copies of Death Comes to Pemberley, La Cucina, City of Thieves, and The Geography of Bliss because they sounded so good during our discussion. It doesn't matter if they don't end up on the official list for next year, but I will wait to read them in case they do. I'll find that out at our last meeting of the year, on Monday. (We break for summer but have a book we're supposed to read during those three months.)
Oh yeah and I've owned The Geography of Bliss three times now. I enjoyed it the first time but kept giving my copy away. It is his chapter on Iceland that started my obsession with going there!
Category #3 - The Open Book Series at the University of South Carolina
I so enjoyed meeting David Mitchell and hearing him speak this past spring that I am clearing my schedule for the five authors coming in the fall for this series. I have to drive two hours to get there, but I was impressed by the attendance and avid readers showing up for this series! I've seen a list of the authors coming in the fall although I notice it isn't updated on their website. David Bajo and Kate Christensen will be two of them, so I decided I should find copies of their books.
Perhaps Jeff VanderMeer's book Authority doesn't have an immediate connection to South Carolina. But he spends several weeks every summer at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC, to run the Shared Worlds writing program for teens. That's why I've met him, and that's where I first heard him read from the first book in this Southern Reach Trilogy, pre-publication. However I bought this book in North Carolina. I was at Malaprop's and couldn't leave empty-handed! He'll be doing a reading there July 9, but I think I will miss him this year since I may be in Oregon at that time.